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Revisiting Old Technology

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Trevor

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There's really no good comparison between a walkman and an iPod, but I got a kick out of this article with the kid doing a review of thirty year-old technology:

BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine | Giving up my iPod for a Walkman

This bit made me laugh out loud while reading:

It took me three days to figure out that there was another side to the tape.
Any other amusing stories of dealing with old tech?
 
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There's really no good comparison between a walkman and an iPod, but I got a kick out of this article with the kid doing a review of thirty year-old technology:

BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine | Giving up my iPod for a Walkman

This bit made me laugh out loud while reading:



Any other amusing stories of dealing with old tech?
I saw that, and my first thought was Christ, almighty--Britons are a bunch of fat fucks these days! The kid looked self- and parent-indulged. I suppose the days of "Top Gear" hosts saying, "you must be an American. You're fat," are over.

To whomever neg-repped me (with a one-word, unsigned comment): the kid is a chunky monkey. This is a fact, plain and simple. The other fact is that he seemed a bit dim, but this may come from inexperience.

Furthermore, it is a fact that the trend to obesity in England's youth is on the rise.

There is actually a really nice account of actively using "old" technology--in this case a typewriter. It's here. I came across this while trying to search for a more recent encounter with a typewriter that had a Millennial asking where the screen was and other such questions.
 
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Grutzvalt

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I love seeing old technology! I'd love to get my hands on pre-Windows 95 OS's...
 

Jaiden

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I saw that, and my first thought was Christ, almighty--Britons are a bunch of fat fucks these days! The kid looked self- and parent-indulged. I suppose the days of "Top Gear" hosts saying, "you must be an American. You're fat," are over.

To whomever neg-repped me (with a one-word, unsigned comment): the kid is a chunky monkey. This is a fact, plain and simple. The other fact is that he seemed a bit dim, but this may come from inexperience.

Furthermore, it is a fact that the trend to obesity in England's youth is on the rise.
We're still well below you in the fat ranks, though. :p

As we'respeaking of obsolete portable music technology, MiniDiscs were a bit rubbish weren't they? I'd completely forgotten about them until I happened upon my sister's old one the other day. They were meant to be the next big thing and the future of how we'd all listen to music for about five minutes in the late nineties. I suppose they were a tad unfortunate to be gazumped by rise of the all conquering iPod.
 
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Absolutely. But the jowly face of England has changed pretty dramatically in the past 20 years, and this is not a good trend. I think we should shepherd our countrymen out of this trend.

It was surprising specifically because it was unexpected.

Or we could just give up and offer "a waffuh-thin mint!" to them and take cover.

Also, I'd have gone with "fat rolls," but "ranks" works just the same. ;)

As we'respeaking of obsolete portable music technology, MiniDiscs were a bit rubbish weren't they? I'd completely forgotten about them until I happened upon my sister's old one the other day. They were meant to be the next big thing and the future of how we'd all listen to music for about five minutes in the late nineties. I suppose they were a tad unfortunate to be gazumped by rise of the all conquering iPod.
I've still got a Sony MD player/recorder, actually. It was great at what it did-a re-writable digital format. In very small doses. With an expensive player (though you could slap labels on the discs and they'd come up on the VDT display).
 

Trevor

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There is actually a really nice account of actively using "old" technology--in this case a typewriter. It's here. I came across this while trying to search for a more recent encounter with a typewriter that had a Millennial asking where the screen was and other such questions.
I hadn't thought about it until following that link, but I was just recently at the Seattle Sci-Fi musem and they had the handwritten manuscript for one of Neal Stephenson's books, which amounted to quite a stack of paper. It gave me a snicker at the time that someone who is strongly associated with cyberpunk/technical subject matter wrote out his books in longhand.

I can't quite say that I miss having to compose on typewriters, but I will agree there was something about the action/reaction in using a machine like that. I've found that I do wind up rewriting things a lot more than I used to back then, when I composed a lot in my head prior to the Elite (which I preferred to Pica) printhead striking the paper. I wonder if that means my writing is better or worse for it?
 

dogboy

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Oh, I remember my walkman. I started out with the tape walkman, and was excited to have it. In the earlier days, I would record my records on to tape. Then later, it was CD's onto tape.....for the walkman. But later, CD walkmans came out. I think the boy testing walkmans would have liked the CD type better, because it did have shuffle. However, it also ate up batteries. I had rechargeable ones. Then I got my MP3 and discovered what a pain it was to load tunes onto the computer and then onto the MP3. I ask people, how do you take off a single piece, or several from the MP3. No one seems to know. So no technology is perfect I guess. My MP3 is several years old,so maybe they have made improvements, and it's a cheap one.

As a side note, I still believe there is nothing like a great home sound system. I load in a CD that is near and dear, turn up the volume, lay back in my recliner and enjoy. There is no walking or ear buds involved.
 

Gil

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I'm all about old tech/vintage. Most of my computers are from the mid-90's, which depending how you look at it, may or may not be considered old/vintage tech.
 
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My school had a vacuum tube amplifier and I was a noob with vacuum tube technology so I turned it on and no sound came out so I was like "Well its old so I guess its broken?" it took me an hour to realize that the tubes need to heat up to work : P

Alot of people specificly in the musical field look for older style tube amplifiers as apposed to the newer solid state/transistor amplifiers that sound like hell.

In my opinion things were built better in the old days and around the mid sixties quality and migrating labor to other countries to save money really burned overall qaulity of products.

For instance my grandparents still have the fridge that they had when they got married 50 years ago and it works better than the piece of crap maytag fridges that we have had three of in the last 2 months : /
 
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In my opinion things were built better in the old days and around the mid sixties quality and migrating labor to other countries to save money really burned overall qaulity of products.
I'm not going to jump all over this; it's an opinion. One that is backed up by an exemplar, below.

For instance my grandparents still have the fridge that they had when they got married 50 years ago and it works better than the piece of crap maytag fridges that we have had three of in the last 2 months : /
I actually read something about new refrigerators a couple weeks ago. I read it because mine is making knocking noises (the compressor's fine, it's not pinging) and I found that this is the NORM for newer refrigerators. A man contacted the vendor and was basically told, "yeah. Get used to it." Mine hasn't gone out in the 4 years I've had it, and hopefully it will see many many more moons--a refrigerator should last, in my mind, about 10-15 years.

Oh, and the vacuum tube amplifiers? They're phenomenal. A buddy from many moons ago swore by them ... I still have his rack-mountable Carver amp (long story) if we have any audiophiles on here.
 

Dawes

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While I don't have much experience with amplifiers, I know that there's always the huge debate in the keyboard world (and in other worlds like mixing and so forth) regarding analog versus digital. People say that analog sound -- sound produced through non-electronic means (knobs that change actual hardware to modify the sound) is thicker (more "warm") than sound produced through digital means. But digital has the advantage in that it's quickly accessible, recreated, easier to synthesize, and cheaper.

I'm sure that compares to the whole vacuum tube thing, though!
 

Skeeter

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The biggest difference between the newer technology and older technology is the power consumption. Yeah, old refrigerators may last longer but, they are a lot heavier and use a lot more power. They are the equivalent of a Hummer if we were talking about cars.

The same thing goes for the vacuum tubes. You'll never see a portable vacuum tube player.
 

Gil

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The biggest difference between the newer technology and older technology is the power consumption.
Yes. Newer computers use a LOT more power than older ones. I have a Macintosh LC III that uses 30 watts max. You heard me. It's quite a capable machine, too.
 
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Yes. Newer computers use a LOT more power than older ones. I have a Macintosh LC III that uses 30 watts max. You heard me. It's quite a capable machine, too.
You are aware of what the "LC" designation stood for, right?


I had a Quadra something-or-other at work in 1995 that was really very capable. Neat machine, that. It's a shame that the whole place where I was was strung together using Banyan vines over DECNet and was a totally mixed (and badly-planned) house.
 

Gil

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You are aware of what the "LC" designation stood for, right?


I had a Quadra something-or-other at work in 1995 that was really very capable. Neat machine, that. It's a shame that the whole place where I was was strung together using Banyan vines over DECNet and was a totally mixed (and badly-planned) house.
Yes, I am. But it's no less of a machine, really. The only difference is that it doesn't have an FPU and has limited RAM.

When it comes down to things like word processing, there's no difference between an LC and a brand-spankin new Quad Core PC.
 

Jeremiah

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When it comes down to things like word processing, there's no difference between an LC and a brand-spankin new Quad Core PC.
Have you ever seen a person type faster than the computer could register and display the characters? Now that is slow word processing.
 
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Have you ever seen a person type faster than the computer could register and display the characters? Now that is slow word processing.
Yes.

I do that myself, and still do it on modern machines. It is most commonly caused by real-time spell- and grammar-checking doing parsing and so forth.

Ah, progress!
 

Hex

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Have you ever seen a person type faster than the computer could register and display the characters? Now that is slow word processing.

[font="Calibri,Arial"]Reminds me of the computer class in school. All the school computers were cheap, even when they were new back when Windows 98 was all the rage.

(After doing exercise intended to last the class in 5 minutes, then getting caught browsing web).
Teacher: Oh, work on your typing
Me: (types, sees wpm counter, and the text slowly appearing) Miss, the computer can't handle faster than 69 wpm. (I type at 100 wpm if I know what Im typing, 80 if I make it up as I go along)
Teacher: Oh, I can only do 40

(My computer teacher is probably the least competent in computers in the whole school)[/font]
 

Gil

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Have you ever seen a person type faster than the computer could register and display the characters? Now that is slow word processing.
I wouldn't know - I've yet to see that on a computer with even a 16 MHz processor and 2 MB of RAM.

Plus, that largely depends on the software being used, more than the actual hardware.
 

Entity

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My little sister has already forgotten how to use VHS taps. She though they were like DVD's and you could start at a certain chapter. No, you actually have to rewind them.
 
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